LL Outtake 3
I grabbed another piece of pizza out of the box and flopped down on the floor next to Riley and laid my head on his shoulder while he finished Cassie's hands. Our parents reluctantly agreed to let him come to our sleepovers, but when we went to sleep he had to go sleep on the couch in the living room. It wasn't that they doubted that he was gay. He made no secret that he was. They just thought, gay or not, it was inappropriate for him to sleep in the room with us. We were at Cassie's house this time. We always alternated between Cassie's and Courtney's homes. None of our parents would have gone for a sleepover at Riley's, and I didn't want my friends around my stepfather any more than necessary. None of us liked him or could figure out what Mom saw in him.
Riley reached behind him and pulled out the new electric blue nail polish he brought and moved so that he could paint my toenails while I ate my pizza. This was our normal Friday night. Tomorrow we were going shopping at the mall to help Riley pick out an outfit for his hot date. Courtney also had an appointment to get her hair dyed again. Her hair was a constantly changing color palate. We had a jar with little pieces of paper with colors written on them, and every few months one of us would pick a color and she would dye her hair that color.
Tomorrow she was going from green to purple. It always shocked me that her parents were willing to pay for it. Courtney said that as long as she wore the wig they bought her when she had to visit her stuffy uncle, or attend any event dealing with her father's business, they didn't care. She had been trying to get them to agree to let her get her tongue pierced but they weren't willing to let her take her "quest for individuality" that far.
As Riley worked on my toes, I laid back and let my mind wander to a discussion Mom and I had about a year ago.
"I know what I want for my birthday."
"I want to dye my hair blond!"
My mother looked appalled, "Why on earth would you want to change your beautiful hair?" I explained that I was tired of being the only one of my friends to have never been even asked out on a date. I thought that by maybe going blond, I could get some guy's attention.
"Bella, you are only fifteen. You are an amazing person. You are smart and you are beautiful just the way you are. You don't have to change anything about yourself to impress a guy. And NEVER change your body to impress anyone. As for your first date, well it's just not the right time for you right now. You haven't found that special guy who will love you for who you are. He will love your intelligence, he will adore your family, even gruff old Charlie," She smiled at me, "but most of all, he's going to love you whether your hair is blond, brown, or you have no hair at all, because that is what unconditional love is."
"You're positive I'll find this amazing guy someday?"
"I promise, sweetheart. He's going to pop up when you least expect him to. He'll sweep you off your feet and treat you like a princess. Besides, I'll only say yes to coloring your hair if you can get your dad to say yes first." That ended that discussion. There was no way that Dad would EVER allow me to change my hair that way.
Riley finished doing my toes and I got up and waddled over to the TV to change the movie. Riley yelled at me as I nearly lost my balance, "Girl you ruin my paint job and I'll beat you to death with your own pillow!" I just stuck my tongue out at him and turned back to start the movie. It wasn't easy to walk with those foam thingy's stuck between your toes.
We watched Pirates of the Caribbean for like the ten millionth time, because all four of us had a crush on Johnny Depp, until my favorite song came on the radio. The four us danced around the room while singing along until we collapsed in laughter. I loved these nights.
After all the pizza was gone and everyone had their nails done to Riley's satisfaction, he kissed us all on the tops of our heads and went out to the living room, leaving us girls to gossip and chat until we just fell asleep.
Meeting Edward (Chapters 2-3)
I hated being away from her. It had been three days since I had been forced to leave my daughter and travel by car to Washington. I was antsy. I was irritable. I was getting on my father's last nerve.
I was terrified for her safety. Dad kept telling me not to stress so much, it wasn't good for my heart. He reminded me that Sue was with Tanya and she would be safe. I didn't understand how he could promise me that. He had personally taken the phone calls, from people that we were never able to identify, threatening to kill my daughter in retaliation for me testifying against them about the attack. They told me not to turn my back for a second, and that even the hospital staff couldn't be trusted. More than once they would claim that an orderly could easily be bought off to help them. I trusted no one but Dad, Sue, Leah, and Seth with my daughter. Dad had married Sue a couple of years ago and with a step-mom, I got a step brother and a step sister. I loved having siblings, even if we lived so far apart. Well, not now. Now, Tanya and I were moving in with them. I think it's going to be a good thing for us.
We were only half way through Oregon and still had a long way to go before we got to Forks, Washington. I was having a lot of trouble being separated from Tanya, but I couldn't fly and the drive was too long for Tanya. She was being flown through various life-flight helicopters. She and Sue were going to have to change flights several times before they finally got to the hospital in Port Angeles. Dr. Cullen, her boss and my new cardiologist, had arranged for the whole thing by calling in favors from various friends and colleagues. I don't think that I was ever going to be able to repay him for his kindness. Sue told me that Dr. Cullen's wife had volunteered to babysit Tanya for me, for free, while I was at school and she had to be at work. I was very uneasy about leaving her with a stranger but I may not have a choice in the matter.
It helped that Charlie and Sue had known Esme for years. Sue had worked for Dr. Cullen part-time as one of his nurses since she graduated from nursing school. I had an appointment with Dr. Cullen the morning after Dad and I were due to arrive in Forks. Mrs. Cullen was going to come to the doctor's office and meet me. It made me feel terrible that I was having such a hard time excepting her offer of free babysitting, but I just couldn't help my fears.
After some construction delays that had us running behind schedule by a few hours, Dad and I pulled into Forks at about ten at night. Dad refused to let me help carry in our overnight bags. Leah was acting really strange when we walked into the house. Seth was easily excited and hyper but Leah never was one to be excitable. As soon as I walked in the door they were on top of me, grabbing me and hugging me and pulling me toward the stairs. They dragged me upstairs to the room that I would be sharing with my daughter when she was finally able to come home. They made sure that I closed my eyes before they would open the door. I felt Leah grab my hand and lead me into the room. I waited patiently until they said that I could look. I was so overwhelmed when I was finally allowed to see the room. They had turned the room into a butterfly palace. There were butterfly ornaments attached all over the walls and some hanging from the ceiling. They got matching purple butterfly blankets for our beds. The walls behind the butterflies were painted blue with white fluffy clouds. It was so beautiful and unexpected that I started to cry, "Thank you so much. This is too incredible for words." I walked around the room, spinning around and taking it all in. They worked so hard on this. I walked over to where my bed was and fingered a large purple butterfly.
"We designed it to be like a large mobile instead of getting a small one that attached to the crib," Seth told me.
"Oh my God! You two did a great job on this room." Dad was just as much in awe of the room as I was when he entered carrying my bag. I was already getting very tired so I sat down on the bed and laid back. I was so enthralled in how beautiful this room was, "This must have taken you two forever to do."
"Eh," was the only response I got from Leah. But when I looked over at her she was smiling away. I ran over and hugged both her and Seth. Seth squirmed away from me and bolted out of the room. Leah and Dad made their escapes soon after, leaving me alone to unpack and rest. But there was no way that I was going to get any sleep when my daughter was in a strange hospital with total strangers watching her.
I walked around the room taking in the butterfly palace that Leah and Seth had created for us. I sighed when I stopped at the crib and I closed my eyes and tried to imagine Tanya sleeping there. I could almost see it. I could almost see her lying there.
I was still standing there when I heard Sue's car pulling into the driveway. I bolted out of the room and ran for the stairs. I had just made it to the top of the stairs when Dad came out of his room yelling at me that I needed to stop running and calm down. Yeah, yeah. I'm not allowed to do anything strenuous or I could have another heart attack. I slowed down and made it to the bottom of the stairs just as Sue walked in the front door.
"Welcome home, Sweetheart!" She grabbed me into a big hug. "She did amazingly well." She knew exactly what I wanted to know. "We had no problems in transport and she was sleeping soundly when I left her tonight." I could at least rest easier knowing that, not that I was going to get much actual sleep. I had way too many nightmares for that. I wished that I could sleep. I was so tired and my new bed was extremely comfortable.
I climbed out of bed when I heard everyone else in the house getting up for the morning. It was Saturday so when I made it to the table for breakfast they were discussing their plans for the day. I just couldn't wait to get to see Tanya and see for myself that my daughter was indeed safe and sound. But I would have to endure a couple of doctors first.
As soon as we were done eating breakfast Dad cleared his throat and said that he had to head down to the station to check in on his guys. Leah had plans with her boyfriend Sam, and Sue had an Elders meeting to go to. They had postponed the last one because she was traveling with Tanya and could not make it, "But how am I going to get to Port Angeles to see Tanya?" I was beginning to panic. It took a minute before I realized that everyone was smiling at me as Dad held a set of keys out to me, "Go look in the garage," was all that he said before I grabbed the keys from him and took off out of the kitchen. Sitting in the garage was the cutest little Dodge Neon. It was perfect for me. Absolutely perfect.
When I walked into Dr. Cullen's office there was a pretty woman sitting on the edge of the receptionist desk laughing and talking with the woman sitting behind the desk. They both looked up at me with warm smiles when they heard me shut the door. The woman that had been sitting on the desk stood up and walked over to me, "Bella! I am so happy to finally meet you. I'm Esme Cullen." Then she shocked me when she grabbed me into a hug.
She was a really sweet lady. Not that I really expected anything different. Dad and Sue would never suggest that I leave my baby with anyone that they didn't trust completely, and I really did need a sitter for when I was at school and Dad and Sue had to work. I talked to her for a few minutes longer until the nurse came out to get me. I easily recognized Dr. Cullen's kind face and voice from the video conferences that we had had while I was still in Phoenix. Dr. Cullen was still not happy with where my blood pressure readings were so he had them checked two more times before he would allow me to leave his office. He did allow me to start school again on Monday on a conditional basis. If he thought that the stress was getting to be too much for me he was going to make me stop going. I reluctantly agreed with him. I didn't really want to give up my education but I also didn't want to die.
After I left his office I started the hour long drive up to Port Angeles to see my therapist before finally getting to see my baby. Normally, my appointments were going to be on Mondays, but she wanted to meet with me and get to know each other a little before we started regular sessions. She had already heard most of my background as I had utilized the same video conference capabilities with her. I hated talking about what happened to me. But everyone was so insistent that I need to talk about it to get past it. All it really tended to do at this point was make me angrier and more upset. But still, I went and I talked. I told her about my nightmare, it was the same one that I had been having since Tanya was born. The one where I am in an unidentified room and some guy has my daughter. I can't make out who he is because his face is a blur, but as soon as I move toward them to save my daughter they both disappear into thin air, and all I am left with is a man's laughter. The laughter I recognize and it sends chills down my spine. It's my step-father's laugh. I hate him. I hate him and his friend for who they are and what they did to me.
By the time I left my therapist's office I was really emotional, as I went from the doctor's building to the NICU in the main hospital. I found myself almost running down the halls to get to her. Walking into the NICU was like walking directly into my nightmare. I stopped fast in my tracks when I saw my daughter being held by a strange man who was laughing and cooing at her. I didn't think, really, I just reacted. All I really knew was that I had to save my baby from him. I ran at them demanding that he give her back and when he didn't I punched him. I mean, I really punched him. The nurses came running as he finally gave me back my baby.
A couple of the nurses tried to look at my hand to make sure that I was alright, while one nurse went after the guy as he stormed out of the room. I was fine. I just wanted to hold my baby and take care of her until they forced me to leave at the end of visiting hours. The nurse that followed the guy out in the hall came back in and came over to talk to me. Apparently I had just punched their favorite volunteer. His name was Edward and he had been helping out in the NICU for a long time. He was also Dr. Cullen's son. She kind of scolded me for hitting him, saying that they were not going to tolerate that behavior from anyone. I just nodded and hung my head. Now that I had time to think and was more rational, I was appalled at my behavior. I was not a violent person. I knew that I would have to apologize to him at some point. I would try the next time I saw him. If he let me get close enough to him to do it.
I told Dad and Sue what had happened when they arrived later that afternoon. I hated disappointing Dad. He had been trying so hard to be nothing but supportive of me and my choices since I was attacked, but I knew that it had been hard on him. He told me that this was something that I needed to tell my therapist so we could work on my issues. It was going to take decades to work on all my issues.
The rest of the weekend went by quickly. I still had not seen that Edward guy return, then again, I'm sure that he wouldn't spend his entire weekend at the hospital. No one volunteers that much. I did, however, meet two very nice girls at my victim's group meeting at the church. Rose and Angela were both seniors like me.
Monday morning I drove myself to Forks High School. Leah and Seth both attended school on the reservation so I was on my own. I went directly to the school office to get my schedule, and the lady behind the desk was quite talkative and made me late for my first period class. I kept to myself as much as I could during that class. It was quite easy as it was Government and the teacher was lecturing. It didn't stop the kids from staring at me though. When the bell rang, I jumped up from my seat like it was on fire and bolted from the classroom.
My second period class was Physics which luckily wasn't too far of a walk from my last class. The kids were continuing to stare, point, and whisper as I walked so I was thrilled to get into a classroom. Dr. Banner handed me a book and showed me to a table saying that I should copy my neighbor's notes so that I would be prepared for the midterm and final exams. I was thumbing through my text book when movement next to me startled me. I looked over at the kid who had sat down next to me, and SHIT! It was Edward from the hospital, and from the look on his face he hated me. I was about to apologize to him when he opened his mouth spouting off about being the smartest kid in school. He was even arrogant enough to claim to be smarter than the teachers. There was a part of me that was no longer sorry that I punched him and wanted to do it again. Even after he threatened to have my father arrested. Then he proceeded to read throughout class and not even pay attention. I'd show him who the smartest student in this school was now that I was here. He had no idea who he was messing with. One day he was going to have to admit that I am smarter than him.
First Date (Chapter 32)
I was so excited. My very first date. Ever! I could not believe that I had agreed to go out on a date with him. And not just any date but a charity ball with Edward. I had been surprised that he asked me to be his date. I had gone from thinking that he was an arrogant jerk, to being his friend, to wanting to go out with him in a very short amount of time. I had wanted him to ask me out so much that I had actually turned to Rosalie for advice. It wasn't like I could talk to Angela about it. She was obsessed with Edward. It was really weird since he acted like he couldn't even stand her presence. In fact, the more that he ignored her, the more desperate and pathetic she became. Even with Rose's assurance that she was sure that he was interested in me, I never thought that he actually would ask me out. He had this thing against teen mothers. Everyone had told me that. Angela liked to remind me of that quite often. She had tried to tell me that he hated babies but I knew that she was full of it. He was great with Tanya and he volunteered to hold babies in the NICU. No one would do that if they hated babies. I was surprised when he asked me, but I needed to know that he understood that Tanya and I were a package deal.
What surprised me more than Edward actually asking me out was Dad's reaction. He was actually thrilled about it. He liked Edward a lot and had been encouraging me to be friends with him. I didn't get it. Most dads of a teenage girl would be attempting to scare off any boy that was interested in his daughter. Considering that Dad was licensed to carry a gun and could easily dispose of the body, Edward was extremely lucky that Dad liked him.
Leah hated getting all dressed up for things like this and volunteered to babysit for me. I knew that Dad and Sue had forced her to go last year and that she went without Sam. He straight out refused to wear a tux.
All of us women went to Seattle for the weekend to shop for new dresses. There was a part of me that was insecure and was not comfortable with the gowns that they kept handing me to try on. That is, until Esme handed me a dress saying that it was perfect for me. Yeah. As if I hadn't heard that one several times already today. But she was right this time. I fell in love with it as she brought it into my dressing room. It was navy blue and was a one-shoulder dress instead of all the strapless ones they had been throwing at me. I really knew it was the one that I wanted to get when I slipped it on and it fit perfectly. I knew when I walked out of the dressing room and heard everyone gasp that Esme and I were right. This was the dress for me.
The day of the ball all of us girls went to have our hair and nails done. I may not be the frilly girl type, may feel most comfortable in jeans and a hoodie, but I do like to be pampered at the salon once in a while. I suppose that it should have concerned me that Tanya fell asleep for her nap almost an hour early and longer than normal, but I was so focused on getting ready to go out that I really wasn't paying close attention to her. That was Leah's job today. I was stressed with trying to look nice for Edward. The more that I thought about the dress that was hanging in my closest, the more nervous I became. I was terrified that it was too revealing.
Before I knew it I was standing in my room looking at myself in a long mirror. I hardly recognized that girl standing before me. I heard a car pull into the driveway. I knew that it had to be Edward. I smoothed my dress down again as I slipped my feet into my shoes while willing myself not to have a panic attack. From the top of the stairs I was able to see him before he saw me. He took my breath away with how amazing he looked in his tux.
Walking into the ballroom was so magical. Esme had done a wonderful job planning the ball. Edward rarely left my side all night, and when he held me when we danced I felt like we were the only ones in the room. We laughed, we danced, and we ate great food. I know there was something going on onstage but I wasn't paying attention to anything but Edward, our families, and our friends at our table. Carlisle exchanged our plates of cake with a wink when the desserts were served. I guess dating your cardiologist's son can have its advantages sometimes.
And it could have its disadvantages too. I knew that Dr. Cullen had been watching me all night and had warned me not to overdo it just because I was having fun. I knew that he was worried that my heart wouldn't be able to handle the strain. I knew he was right, but I just couldn't find it in me to sit out a minute of the night. I finally felt like this was that princess moment my mother had promised me.
At Edward's suggestion we left the ballroom to take a walk towards the end of the evening. I couldn't deny that I had really needed a break by that point. We walked hand in hand down the hall where we stopped and stood, holding each other until he asked if he could kiss me. He wanted to kiss me! I knew that I had to be dreaming now. There was no way that I was getting to have such a perfect first date. I didn't care if this was just a dream, as long as I didn't wake up anytime soon. I just started chanting in my head, "please don't let me wake up. Please don't let me wake up." The next thing I knew his lips were on mine and we were kissing.
I could feel his hands twitching while they held my waist, like he was fighting to keep them there instead of letting them roam. This is why I trusted him. He knew my past and would never push me to do anything that I was not ready for. I wouldn't even be his friend if I ever thought that he was capable of something like that.
Before I knew it, our kiss was over and he was pulling away from me. I turned my head slightly and looked out the glass door behind me and was shocked to see that it was not only snowing, but it was snowing really hard.
He asked me if I trusted him. It made me recall my thoughts of just moments ago, I trusted him with my life. I trusted him with my daughter's life. I followed him blindly upstairs. I had no clue what was waiting for me upstairs, but I wasn't worried at all and that surprised me. I would have expected to feel some level of panic being in this situation for the first time since…
I had been so preoccupied on how calm I was feeling and reliving that kiss in my head that I never even bothered to attempt to figure out why he was taking me upstairs. I certainly had never expected what was waiting for me when he opened the door to the hotel room. He had arranged for Leah to drive up with my daughter so that I wouldn't have to be apart from her all night.
I couldn't believe that he would think of this or put so much effort into making sure that I was happy and taken care of. He really was the Prince Charming that my mother told me was waiting for me. He really and truly cared about me and my happiness and he absolutely adored my daughter. I couldn't help the tears that were falling from my eyes. I was so overwhelmed with emotions.
I decided that I didn't really want to leave my baby again to return to the party. The only thing that I needed to be happy was to be with Edward and Tanya. After he left to go to his room across the hall I turned to Leah who was already pulling her swimsuit out of her bag. I grabbed her and hugged her hard, thanking her. 'It was all Edward' was all that she would say as she bolted out of the room determined to get to the hotel pool. I changed my clothes and went across the hall for the perfect ending of the perfect evening.
Quality time at the movies (Chapter 80-81)
It seemed like it had been forever since Edward and I had had any time where we were truly alone. I guess that is what parenthood is like. However, there was no way that I was going to pass up a chance to get out alone with Edward when someone volunteered to watch Tanya. I wasn't ready to go home when we were finished eating dinner so I decided to try a suggestion that Rose gave me one day when I asked for her help. My therapist and I had talked a great deal about my fears of intimacy and sex. I was afraid of the idea of intimacy. I was afraid that I would actually remember what had happened the night that I was attacked.
Everyone kept telling me that I would never know until I put myself in that situation. Rose gave me what amounted to the best advice that I had yet to be given. She told me that Edward loved me and not only would he strive to make me comfortable and feel safe, but should anything happen to upset me or cause me to have one of my flash back panic attacks he would take good care of me and comfort me.
Rose told me that when she and Emmett sometimes go to see a movie that has been out so long that it is just about to be pulled from the theatre. She says that she could practically guarantee that it would be just Edward and I in that theatre.
When we walked into the theatre I was thrilled to find that Rose was right and it was just the two of us. I still led us to seats in the very back of theatre. Rose told me to sit all the way back so the kid running the projector wouldn't see us. I knew that if I gave myself anytime to think about what I was planning to do I would give into myself doubt and fears. I pretty much just threw myself at him. I knew that I had shocked and confused Edward. I never behaved this way before. I was eighteen and a mom and I didn't even remember having sex. In my situation, though, this was actually a very good thing. I had always been a good girl and never acted out and look where it got me. I loved Edward. We were moving in together soon and I knew that he wanted me. Deep down under my fears I really wanted him. I had been thinking about it since that day I walked into his room and saw him naked.
With really thinking about what I was doing I found myself straddling his lap. I kept kissing him and every time I would shift my hips he would grip my hips tighter. I was still wearing my dress from earlier so I could feel all of him against me. I had told him that I didn't want to have sex and I meant it. Not only was that something that I would never do in public but I was not ready for that step. That was the final major step and would pretty much require me to get naked in front of him. That would mean showing off my scar from the C-section I'd had. I came close to a panic attack whenever I would let my mind actually think about what I was doing. It was my fear of the unknown and maybe a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy. I'd convinced myself that being intimate should make me panic therefore I will have a panic attack. I made myself relax and just feel and once I did, oh God did it feel good. It felt really good. It didn't take long for both of us to have an orgasm.
Afterwards we just sat there holding each other for a few minutes. We talked briefly about the fact that this was the first time that I had had an orgasm. I had tried to do it myself but it just didn't work out. I was terrified that someone would walk past the bathroom and hear me. The idea of being caught was so mortifying that I couldn't relax enough to get into it so I just gave up.
Edward left to go to the bathroom to clean himself up a few minutes later. As soon as he was out of sight I jumped up out of my seat and started doing a little happy dance right there in the theatre. I decided that I was ready to leave so I went out into the hall to wait for him outside the bathroom. Tonight was officially one of the best nights of my life.
This is the outtake that I wrote and donated to the Autism Fundraiser. I've had a nice break from writing and I am now eager to start posting again. The sequel to this story will start posting on July 1st as promised. For those of you that are reading ASL. The epi is with Sweetpea123, who beta'd this for me as well, and as soon as she gets it back to me I will post it. Just a reminder that it is going to be called On Our Own.